Creating a budget is not as daunting as it appears. It only requires a quick run-down of your income and expenses, and the best day planner to record your spending habits. Using a day planner for your organizational needs will make all of your tasks easier to accomplish.
Begin your budget by listing all of your sources of income. If you receive a designated monthly salary, it should go at the top of the Income column. If you are paid weekly, record the income as you receive your paycheck. Date each record. Place your expense column next to the income column. Your expenses will be mixed; some will be fixed (they occur every month, like rent or a mortgage payment), and others will be variable (like the utility bill).
Each time you spend money, list it in the expense column. You will have all kinds of totals, some as little as $1.50 for a soft drink, some as large as several hundred for a car payment. This first month as you record, try not to total columns, instead work on developing the habit of keeping a record. This is where the best day planner will be your ideal place to make your records, because you keep your calendar at your fingertips all the time.
At the end of the month, total your columns. This will allow you to see where your money is flowing out of your checking account. Reconcile these columns with your bank statement to ensure that you have recorded each transaction. Debit card purchases are the easiest to forget, as well as those ATM withdrawal fees that whittle away at your balance.
To create your budget, set your spending limit for each expense. If you want have more month (bills) left at the end of your money, you will need to cut expenses to meet your obligations. When you see where your money is spent, you can decide where to cut back on spending. Miscellaneous expenses like car repairs or maintenance can make a big dent in the finances but are often forgotten when making a budget. This is where recording each transaction for three months will pick up all the little expenses that are irregular.
Beginning in your second month, as you record an expenditure, subtract the total from your income. Compare this total with your bank account so that you can stay balanced, and to make sure you haven't missed a needed subtraction from the account.
If you do not have a checking account, this is another place your day planner will serve your needs. Use the envelope system; place an envelope in the back of the planner with your cash allowance inside. Paper clip to the cash a note identifying where it will be spent. When you run out of cash, you have spent all you can on that category and will have to pull from another if you continue to exceed the limit.
Making a budget is as simple as following your money, setting your limits, and recording your transactions to keep yourself on track. After you have completed a few months of records, you can begin to plan for a big outing or stock purchase to celebrate your budget adherence and the savings you have acquired.